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$99 Tablet from Amazon?

27 August 2011

The latest rumor is the Amazon tablet will appear in late September or October, in perfect timing for another gonzo ereader Christmas.

Excerpts from the New York Post:

Amazon is poised to enter the tablet fray with an Android-powered tablet in late September or October, a source with knowledge of the plans said yesterday.

The device will sell for hundreds less than the entry-point $499 iPad, a feat few tablet makers have accomplished, the source said.

Amazon is considered one of the few credible threats to Apple and has been willing to sell its electronics at a loss in hopes of generating more digital media purchases.

“If Amazon is particularly aggressive on pricing, that could be a trigger for many players to rethink the sales price of tablets,” said Charles King, the lead analyst at Pund-IT.

. . . .

ITG Investment Research said that tablets running Google’s Android are starting to chip away at Apple’s iPad marketshare, and price will be key to further erosion.

“We expect to see more and more lower-end, more-affordable Android devices enter the marketplace, which should further allow Android to increase its share,” said Tony Berkman, CEO of ITG.

The pressure is on to build cheaper handheld devices, not just tablets but smartphones.

Link to the rest at The New York Post

Amazon, Ebooks

4 Comments to “$99 Tablet from Amazon?”

  1. I would be very surprised to see a $99 tablet, given that Amazon hasn’t brought the Kindle to under a hundred bucks yet. The credible rumours I’ve heard so far point to a tablet in the $200-250 range with mid-range components (i.e., not quite as nice as the iPad). Amazon is also supposedly releasing a new Kindle this fall, which is expected to be under $100 and to incorporate touchscreen technology. A cheaper, easy-to-use Kindle could be as much of a game changer as their tablet, I think, and will put real pressure on B&N and Kobo.

    • Agreed. The speculation has floated around in some web stories and was in the NY Post headline, so I included it with a question mark.

      • I would be surprised, but not *very* surprised to see a $99 Amazon tablet. Bear in mind that 1) Jeff Bezos now has a much more reliable estimate of the market for such a product; 2) Bezos now has a much more reliable estimate of how far down the per-unit manufacturing cost of such a device would go, given the number of them that would Amazon would sell; and 3) Amazon doesn’t have to make a profit off its tablet device; it can clean up by selling a lot more ebooks, which is where the market is going — whereas Apple does have to make a profit from its tablet devices.

  2. Though it isn’t mentioned here, the target, I’d imagine, would be the $249 Nook Color. This is the first case of Amazon imitating B&N and not the other way around. So I’m guessing the device will either be a little cheaper than the Nook Color or, if not, have a cool feature the Nook Color doesn’t. (Since Amazon has been running its own Android app store for a while I’d guess that its tablet will come ready to shop it, since the Nook Color has an app store, too. Amazon’s advantage here would be offering *all* Android apps … at the moment it looks as if there are “only” 588 Nook Color apps => http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s?store=apps&dref=4815)

    The Nook Color is a WiFi only device. Personally I think it’s important to offer 3G, but for a general-purpose web-surfing-and-email-checking-and-video-watching tablet the data consumption would be far higher than it is for ereader devices. Perhaps Amazon, like Apple, will offer a pay-as-you go data plan for its tablet.

    The Kindle touch device Brendan mentions points to Amazon once *again* playing catch-up with B&N. I expect he’s right on this prediction. It’s a startling turn of affairs having B&N get there first with both devices, but it does give Jeff Bezos the opportunity to kick the competition’s tires and build something better for his far larger fan base.

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